1. Think of your company as a person. What does she need you to execute to make the company successful. What role is needed from you. If you are clear on that role then you need to focus your activities and tasks around that role. Ensure that role is signed off with the Board/boss.
  2. Analyse a typical week in your business life. (Answer, I don’t have a typical week, doesn’t cut it.) Did you spend most of your time on getting stuff done that related to the role you defined in 1 above? I suspect not. Deflected for a million reasons? Change is needed.
  3. Define all the projects no matter how small or large and give each of them a name.
  4. This now gets a little tougher – staring at the key role expected of you – prioritize all projects one to ten.
  5. Really focus on the list and choose the three projects that you need to complete this year.
  6. Take a page for each project and visualize what success looks like – list the stuff that needs to happen.
  7. Assign deadlines to every project and apply what I call the “reverse timeline technique”. This allows you to assign deadlines to each of the tasks to ensure the big deadline is met. It could be a significant sales deal, a new pricing structure, recruitment of a key senior manager, a new product roll out etc.
  8. Delegate the other projects that didn’t make the cut and ask your managers to go through a similar exercise.

This approach will give you a great template to prioritize your busy, stressful week and will help to ensure you don’t confuse activity with effectiveness. Good luck.